Senate Republicans are optimistic that President Donald Trump will be able to reach a deal with Mexico in order to avoid slapping tariffs, Newsweek reported.
Following the first day of meetings between U.S. and Mexican officials, Trump tweeted that “[p]rogress is being made, but not nearly enough!” He reiterated his tariff threat, adding that if “no agreement is reached” in further talks on Thursday, the tariffs would be implemented as planned.
“I think a deal is gonna get done,” GOP Senator Mitt Romney told Newsweek. A frequent critic of the President, the Utah senator and former presidential candidate did “not support the tariffs with Mexico.”
A member of leadership as the third-highest ranking Republican in the chamber, Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming remained “hopeful” a deal would be struck with Mexico to evade implementing tariffs.
“The sign [is] that the Mexican government [sent] officials to come and meet with the vice president and the secretary of state—that’s a pretty big sign,” he told Newsweek. “The hope is that we can do this and to get the assistance that we’re looking for from Mexico without doing the tariffs.”
Senator John Kennedy, who has close relations with Trump, said that after he spoke to the President, he was feeling “a lot more sanguine about things than I did a couple of days ago.”
“We’re going to get it worked out,” he said. “It’s not the end of Western civilization yet. We’ll get through this.”
However, Kennedy believed there was a high probability the first round of 5 percent tariffs would be implemented before a final deal is struck. Anything higher than that could become a serious economic and political problem for Republicans, he said.
“I’m not recommending it, but it’s not going to break the bank,” Kennedy said. “Twenty-five percent is a different story. Mexico is our biggest trading partner. In my state, it would hurt a lot.”